Sunday, October 28, 2012

Green Pea and Mint Soup

Let's admit it, most of us dislike green peas when we're young. At least that's what I have come to believe growing up in Hong Kong. Green peas often appear in fried rice, and almost every child on the table patiently forks them out of the rice and pushes them aside, followed by a stream of begging, reasoning and warning from the parents, all to deliver the message that "you have to eat your vegetables".

Of course I like green pea soup now, but it has already captured my heart since childhood when I did not even appreciate green peas. It was a real school-lunch treat from my mom who usually bought it for me from Oliver's Super Sandwiches. This soup is hearty, comforting and it makes me happy! Usually the green peas are paired with bacon bits but I  have paired mine with mint for a healthier twist.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I loveeeeee madeleines! They are born to attract affection with that sweet shell-like shape! 

Don't be jealous! Just because they're pretty, it doesn't mean that they don't have substance! But if you do, I completely understand because with my jealousy unleashed, I once had that misconception too. I was so sure that my misconception was right after I had my first madeleine, which was awful. I got it from a supermarket. I guess you can get the picture now, it was one of those mixed in with a lot of artificial coloring and additives and never turn bad until 3 years later. The texture was horrible, it was unbearably sweet, not spongy and it was so so dense that I felt like I had swallowed a huge damp teabag filled with sugar instead of tea leaves!

Anyway, my misconception was utterly shattered 2 years ago when I worked as a summer intern at a place that is, in this case, seemingly irrelevant- Deacons, the largest local law firm in Hong Kong. Deacons has its own kitchen and the chef there (I hope he is still working there) is extremely friendly and welcoming. Eating his madeleines has made me realize that when madeleines are made right, they taste heavenly! Delicate, moist and soft like muffin, oozing with a warm buttery aroma and a slight lemon twang. Perfect.


I have tried out different recipes and I think Rachel Khoo's produces the best madeleines so far. However, I don't fill the madeleines with lemon curd as she has demonstrated because I think that they are already moist enough without any aid from the lemon curd, and more importantly, the buttery aroma of madeleines really deserves the stage. With that extra bit of red in the middle, these gorgeous madeleines are surely hard to resist!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Stir-fry Wild Rice Stems 雲腿茭白絲

Wildrice stems are aquatic plants which take on the good qualities of bamboo shoots and drop the bad. They have that very distinctive fresh taste of spring and a tender, pickled turnip-like crunch, combination of which makes them too much of a delicacy to be dismissed from your menu! What's more, they do not leave your lips numb as bamboo shoots usually do! Yay!

Another little fun fact about wildrice stems lies in their shape and colour. Taking off the coats of green reveals a sleek, smooth and fair inside. Look at the pictures below. They are said to resemble a Chinese woman's perfect lotus feet, concealed within tiny shoes and bindings. As such, wildrice stems also take on the name 腳白筍 "fair bamboo feet"

Bound feet? Meh. I see little aesthetic value in them. But looking at these exposed pure stems, I do see a pair of hot, sexy legs! Seriously, who can resist that? ;p

Friday, October 12, 2012


Rachel Khoo's The Little Paris Kitchen has become my new addiction. I find it immensely enjoyable to watch her cooking show not just because she's pretty and has a great sense in style, she also makes cooking look so easy and fun and completely breaks that cliche of French food being complicated. On top of that all, she has lived out my dream of living in France, cooking, hitting the nearby markets for fresh produce and of course, bargaining in French fluently! ;p

In one of her episodes, she made chouquettes. Chouquette is actually pastry puff, rich egg flavour and pillowy texture. They are usually covered with nipped sugar then baked until golden-brown. Since I could not find nipped sugar anywhere in Hong Kong (if you could, please let me know!), as a chocolate-lover, very naturally I added chocolate chips to my cute little chouquettes! I also added grated Gruyere to some, making them what the French called- Gougères (Cheese Puffs).

These chouquettes are so easy to make, out of ingredients you are very likely to already have in stock! Milk, butter, flour and eggs. They are such sweet devils, so delicious, so alluring, so easy to pop into your mouth, and before you even realize it, you're already eating the 8th piece!